Here's what's trending for March 16.


A sign that a teacher posted in her classroom has sparked a big controversy for the Southern Lehigh School District. The sign in rainbow and brown colors read, "You belong. You matter. We are all Southern Lehigh." The sign started a debate on whether the district should come up with a policy to determine which classroom signs are appropriate and whether constitutional free speech protections don't apply to partisan positions in classrooms. Many comments were given at a recent school board meeting, but no decisions have been made on a final policy.

State education leaders say there needs to be a new approach to attracting new teachers as so many have dropped out of classes due to the COVID pandemic. Tanya Garcia, a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education, told lawmakers there has been a 66-percent drop in newly-issued Pennsylvania teaching certificates over an 11-year period. She also notes the number of undergraduate education majors dropped by the same amount 66-percent over the last decade.

A second person has died following a shooting in Easton Monday afternoon, according to Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck. "It took place in the middle of the day, under the sun, in the middle of a residential area. We're not going to have this here. We're not going to have innocent people dragged into this craziness," Houck says. The DA says 18-year-old Kavan Figueroa died at the hospital and 17-year-old D'Andre Snipes died at the scene of the Monday afternoon shooting. It all happened at 13th and Washington streets in Easton's West Ward. Houck says it looks like the victims were specific targets of the shooting. He adds so far there hasn't been much cooperation from anybody in the neighborhood who may know something about what happened.

The Carbon County Coroner says the drowning death of a 9-year-old girl at Split Rock Resort has been ruled accidental. Kidder Township police say the girl, from Jamaica, NY, was found unresponsive in the resort's pool late Friday morning. Police say the girl was rushed to the hospital, but could not be saved.

A 61-year-old man has died in a forklift collision at a Home Depot Distribution Center in Upper Macungie Township. Russell Molter of Zionsville, died accidentally Monday evening when two forklifts collided. He was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital. Federal officials from OSHA are investigating.

Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos held a groundbreaking on a major renovation and expanion project. Bill Colavito is general manager of the Great Wolf Lodge. "It is designed for multi-generational families and friends and people with large groups of people and potentially add some value extended stays," Colavito says. The expansion plans include building brand new multi-bedroom private villas as well as updating their grand lobby, toddler pool and adding a new full-service dining concept. The renovations should be wrapped up in the summer of 2023.

With two months to go until the May primary election, Northampton County’s chief registrar has resigned. Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure says Amy Cozze's last day on the job was March 10th. She is now working as a regional manager for the Lehigh Valley for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and is responsible for outreach in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties. McClure expects to find Cozze's replacement within a few days.

A new Popeyes Restaurant wants to move to South Allentown, but first an old restaurant must be moved from that site. City planners say the building of the former Checker's restaurant is modular and can be disassembled. It will be taken to New Jersey where owners will set it up in a new area. Only then will the site in the 19-hundred block of Fourth Street be ready for construction. The new Popeyes will likely start up business in the first part of 2023.

We'll soon know the complete list of the names on the ballots for Pennsylvania's primary election on May 17th. Tuesday was the final day for candidates to file with the state in the U.S. Senate, Congress and governor's races. Seven Republicans and five Democrats will be on the May ballot for Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seat. Ten Republicans and a single Democrat are on the ballot for governor, while voters will choose from three Democrats and nine Republicans in the lieutenant governor's race. Filing for the legislative races can't be determined until a ruling is made on newly-mapped districts.

If you head to Hersheypark this summer you can leave your cash at home, but you better bring your plastic. Hersheypark says this year cash payments are no longer accepted. The park accepts all major credit cards, debit cards, and Hersheypark gift cards, along with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. Cash can be converted to prepaid debit cards inside the park. Dorney Park made a similar announcement earlier this winter.

PennDOT is advising Pennsylvania residents to travel safely this week. Krys Johnson says that too many people take to the roads after drinking on St. Patrick's Day making the holiday one of the most dangerous on the calendar. Johnson says that before revelers head out the door for St. Patrick's Day events, they should think about how they will get home safe and not end up in jail, the hospital or the morgue. Nine people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the state around the St. Patrick's Day holiday last year.


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